In China, you can find a lot of fakes and replicas from phones, clothes, shoes, makeup, and more. However, one shady industry has gone too far, especially now that it involves the health and safety of consumers.
China is once again involved in another food safety controversy, this time by mass producing fake branded seasonings that are toxic.
Shanghaiist reported 50 underground factories in China that were seized for producing counterfeit salts, spices, and additives. These factories were found to be operating in a small town just outside downtown Tianjin.
The factories, located in Tianjin’s Jinhai District, employed workers who discreetly protected themselves by using surveillance cameras.
Apart from the unsanitary conditions of the factories, they also used industrial salt banned from human consumption because of its cancer-causing ingredients. But unfortunately, when it comes to illegal business, nothing else matters except for profit.
These illegal seasonings may be packed under names of famous brands like Knorr, Nestle, Lee Kum Kee, Wang Shouyi, Totole, and Haday.
In order to pass as the real deal, workers copied barcodes from original products and included them in the packaging of their counterfeit items.
According to the BBC, these illegal businesses produce more than $14 million in fake products every year, giving their managers a hefty profit.
The China Food and Drug Administration said that they are already investigating the matter and have dispatched officers to visit these factories following a tip from a whistle-blower.
Many consumers were enraged by the news with one asking, “Shouldn’t the CFDA be the one that is punished? A whole village has been faking products for so many years. Can we still trust this department?”
This isn’t not the first time alarming news like this from China surfaced. In other instances there were reports about plastic rice, toxic-treated mushrooms, and repacked old meat.